RVers On The Road: Who, What & Where?

An RV is a vehicle that combines transportation and living quarters for travel, recreation, and camping purposes.

Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In this post, we take a look at some RV fun facts, top destinations, and budgets of the estimated 9 million RVs currently on the road.

Fast Facts About RVers

Estimated 9 million households own an RVs

The average RVer is 48 years old

And own their home

39 per cent have children under 18 living at home

Spend an average of 3 weeks traveling annually

Travel an average of 4,500 miles on their RV annually

Medium income: $62,000

Fastest growing segment: 35-54 years old

Intent to buy another RV: 70 percent

Whiskey Flats RV Park, Hawthorne, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The whole concept of RVing is to have fun and enjoy your leisure time. Camping at Whiskey Flats RV Park, Hawthorne, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Own their own RV: Average 8.4 years

On their RV over 10 years: 30 percent

Camping clubs had their start with the Tin Can Tourists of the 1920s and 30s who camped on roadsides, using gas stoves to heat food in tin cans and bathed in cold water

Good Sam Club had its start 49 years ago in 1966

Good Sam Club is the world’s largest RV organization with over one million members

RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Elkhart, Indiana

Fast Facts About the RV Industry

Produced 1.1 million RVs in the past 4 years

More than 12,000 RV-related businesses in the U.S. with combined annual revenues of more than $37.5 billion

Employs more than a quarter million Americans

Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Over 60 percent of all RVs are manufactured in Elkhart County, Indiana

Where Are RVers Going?

Most Popular RV Travel Destinations

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho

Yosemite National Park, California

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

Great Smokey Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota

Disney World and Orlando theme parks, Florida

Fall Foliage Tour

Utah Grand Circle Tour

Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

An RV For Every Budget

RV vacation for a family of four is 27-62 percent less expensive than vacations that include hotel, airfare, and restaurant costs.

There is an RV for everyone’s lifestyle and budget

Folding camping trailer

Truck camper

Travel trailer

Fifth wheel trailer

Class A gas motorhome

Class A diesel pusher motorhome

Class B motorhome or camper van

Class C motorhome

Cherohala Skyway
Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons especially along the Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway, North Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Toy hauler or sports utility RV

Let’s Go RVing!

Worth Pondering…

Arguably the best slogan ever written to describe the RV lifestyle comes to mind: Wherever you go, you’re always at home.

We have much to be thankful for, including our great RV lifestyle…

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Toy Hauler Motorhome Market Expands

A recent revitalization in retail sales for toy haulers has created many new options for those searching for an RV with garage capabilities.

Outlaw Class A motorized toy hauler
Outlaw Class A motorized toy hauler

Thor Motor Coach continues to drive sales with its motorized toy hauler, the Outlaw.

Thor Motor Coach has recently released new floor plans and valuable camper conveniences aimed to fit today’s busy lifestyles, according to a company news release.

A new 37RB extends the Outlaw Toy Hauler’s desirability by adding a second slideout with a permanent Denver Mattress queen size bed. This dedicated bedroom provides privacy from other guests toward the front of the coach and even from those in the loft bedroom. Now the kids can have their space, while mom and dad get a bed that no longer has to be converted to sleep. This 37RB version keeps all the amenities of a traditional Class A motorhome, with the garage in the rear.

Known as the “Ultimate Tailgating Partner”, the “residential edition” 38RE fits into a unique category with an ultramodern bedroom featuring 9-foot coffered ceilings where the garage is customarily located. The 38RE was awarded the 2015 Top RV Debut by RVBusiness. It has an immense living area and the inventive rear “Patio Deck” folds down to reveal an exterior kitchenette, 50-inch big screen TV, and Bluetooth radio.

Whether you are interested in the Class C 29H toy haulers or any of the Class A Outlaw motorhomes, you will find Thor Motor Coach’s Rapid Camp on all units. Rapid Camp is a wireless control system allowing owners to set up camp quickly at a distance of up to fifty feet away from the motorhome. Features that can be operated include the leveling jacks, slide outs, generator, patio awning, and patio light.

2015 Outlaw Class A 38RE Moondance decor with vintage maple cabinetry
2015 Outlaw Class A 38RE Moondance decor with vintage maple cabinetry

All Outlaw toy haulers and motorhomes include an overhead bunk in the cockpit area with Class A units featuring an electric drop-down version of the bunk. When lowered, the bunk provides a comfortable sleeping space for two. When in the raised position, it is camouflaged into the ceiling and a great place to secure personal items while you’re away because it’s operated by a separate key.

The Outlaw is attracting buyers from many diverse backgrounds.

“We’ve found people are using this type of coach as more than just a toy hauler for hauling ATVs and motorcycles,” said Joel Grimm, gas division national sales manager for Thor Motor Coach.

“Owners are using the garage as a space for their animals, their antiques, and anything else that needs significant hauler capacity. We have even found a number of full-timers using the garage as their mobile office.”

The 2015 Outlaw Class A toy hauler motorhomes are available in three floor plans:

  • 37LS (Length: 38 feet 6 inches)
  • 37MD (Length: 38 feet 9 inches)
  • 38RE (Length: 39 feet 11 inches)
2015 Outlaw Toyhauler Class C Motorhome
2015 Outlaw Toyhauler Class C Motorhome

The 2015 Outlaw Class C toy hauler motorhomes are available in two floor plans:

  • 29H (Length: 30 feet 9 inches)
  • 35SG (Length: 36 feet 8 inches)

Details

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach was formed when Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International strategically merged in late 2010. For over 23 years Damon and Four Winds have been building many of the most recognized brands of motorhomes. Thor Motor Coach manufactures Class A Front Engine Diesel motorhomes (Serrano and Avanti), Class A Diesel Pusher motorhomes (Astoria, Tuscany, and Palazzo), Class A Gas motorhomes (A.C.E., Hurricane, Daybreak, Windsport, Challenger, and Outlaw), and Class C motorhomes (Four Winds, Chateau, Siesta, Siesta Sprinter, Citation, and Citation Sprinter).

Thor Motor Coach is a subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc., Jackson Center, Ohio, the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles.

2015 Outlaw Class C toyhauler in brown sugar decor with Sydney maple cabinetry
2015 Outlaw Class C toyhauler in brown sugar decor with Sydney maple cabinetry

Address: 701 County Road 15, PO Box 1486, Elkhart, Indiana 46516

Phone: (800) 860-5658

Website: thormotorcoach.com

Worth Pondering…

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

—Stephen Covey

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Back To The 60’s With Reimagined Retro RV

With a nod to the past, Winnebago’s Brave reflects the retro quality of its 1960’s predecessor, while offering today’s best innovations

Winnebago Brave in aquarius
Winnebago Brave in aquarius

In the late ’60s and ’70s, there was no mistaking a Winnebago motorhome. The bold Flying W and iconic “eyebrow” designs were cutting paths to fun and adventure from coast to coast. It was the coach that made America fall in love with motorhomes.

Though the days of Flower Power have long passed, Winnebago decided to revive its classic 1960’s RV with features that incorporate the technologies of today. Perhaps the peace sign is now a thumbs-up as Winnebago has joined other companies that have proven that retro can still turn heads and open pocketbooks.

From Chuck Taylor shoes to Volkswagen’s famous Beetle, Winnebago is capturing a new market by offering the timeless appeal of the past, coupled with the newest features of the present.

With retro offerings trending among younger buyers, Winnebago research indicated that their original 1960’s RV could still captivate customers in the right target markets, according to a company news release.

“The Brave is a testament to both our rich history and bright future in the motorhome lifestyle. More importantly, our sales numbers are proving that retro is still cool,” stated Randy Potts, CEO of Winnebago Industries.

Winnebago Brave 26A in Good Vibrations with Cherry Cola Cabinetry
Winnebago Brave 26A in Good Vibrations with Cherry Cola Cabinetry

“The Winnebago has been re-imagined. This is the iconic Winnebago mom and dad had, modernized. The features truly speak for themselves.”

The new Brave breathes new life into the celebrated design, giving drivers the opportunity to relive childhood memories.

Beyond its stylish appearance, the Winnebago Brave is loaded with versatile floor plans—ideal for weekend getaways or extended trips.

The Brave features a state-of-the-art sliding dash rearview monitor with Rand McNally RV GPS and a powered patio awning as well as Winnebago’s StudioLoft bedding system for added sleeping space.

Winnebago’s classic eyebrow design and “Flying W” sidewall logo earned the top award of the Recreation Vehicle Industry’s 52nd Annual Trade Show.

The Winnebago Brave and its sister, the Itasca Tribute, were given the prestigious title of “RV of the Year” by RV Business Magazine.

Itasca Tribute in Woodstock
Itasca Tribute in Woodstock

Winnebago offers a true sense of discovery and rediscovery with multigenerational appeal.

The Brave and Tribute retail for $96,599 to $121,379 and are available in three 26- to 31-foot floor plans on a 362-hp, V10-powered Ford chassis.

Details

Winnebago Industries, Inc

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc., “The Most Recognized Name In Motor Homes”, is a leading U.S. manufacturer of recreation vehicles, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities.

The Company builds quality motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheel products under the Winnebago, Itasca, Era, SunnyBrook, and Metro brand names.

Winnebago Industries has received the Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association every year since the award’s inception in 1996.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 152, Forest City, IA 50436

Itasca Tribute 27B with Removable Pedestal Table
Itasca Tribute 27B with Removable Pedestal Table

Street Address: 605 West Crystal Lake Road, Forest City, IA 50436

Phone: (641) 585-3535

Winnebago Website: www.winnebagoind.com

http://winnebagoind.com/

Itasca Website: goitasca.com

goLife Websitewww.winnebagolife.com

Worth Pondering…

Far too late to understand many of the missed goals in life:

Joy, beauty of nature, health, travel and culture,

Therefore, man is, time wise!
High time is it! Travel, travel!

—Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908)

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The Growing Compact Motorhome Market

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc. is forging a distinct new motorhome market for compact, fuel efficient motorhomes.

Winnebago Via in dark bronze mist
Winnebago Via in dark bronze mist

With market share of 43.2 percent in calendar 2014 in this segment, Winnebago has essentially created a new market for customers interested in compact, fuel efficient motorhomes.

“We define a compact motorhome as any Class A, B, or C product with a narrow-width body (90 inches) and is under 26 feet in length,” said Russ Garfin, Winnebago Product Manager, in a company news release.

“Essentially that comes down to new product offerings in which Winnebago has taken the lead. New chassis selections in the past decade, such as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ram ProMaster, have provided Winnebago the opportunity to create innovative new products that meet the needs of a growing customer base.”

“The compact motorhome category has grown an amazing 83.3 percent since 2006, while the motorhome industry as a whole has declined by 32.1 percent.” Garfin added.

“Our new products have really sparked a growing trend of buyers who want to enjoy the RV lifestyle, but also want an easy-to-drive, fuel-efficient and highly maneuverable full-featured motorhome.”

Winnebago View in carbon champagne
Winnebago View in carbon champagne

According to Statistical Surveys, Inc., 5,441 motorhomes were retailed in the compact motorhome category in calendar 2014, 2,382 (43.8 percent) of which were Winnebago motorhomes.

Since 2006, 27,939 have been retailed in the compact motorhome category, 13,750 (49.2 percent) of which were Winnebago products.

Winnebago products that are included in the compact motorhome category include the Class A Via and Reyo, Class C View, Navion, Trend and Viva, and the Class B Winnebago Touring Coach line of Era and Travato.

The Class A Winnebago Via and Itasca Reyo are built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. Three floor plans offer a whole host of arrangements so you can customize your interior to suit your needs.

Also built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, the Class C Winnebago View and Itasca Navion offer four attractive floor plans with room for expanded dining and relaxation.

Winnebago Trend in sunset yellow
Winnebago Trend in sunset yellow

Built on the Ram ProMaster chassis, the Winnebago Trend and Itasca Viva offer efficiency and comfortable living space for up to four people. Both 23-foot floor plans offer a powered StudioLoft bed that lifts tight to the ceiling to conserve space during the day. Other features include energy-saving LED lighting and soft, easy-to-clean Ultraleather furniture.

Built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, the Class B line of Winnebago Era and Itasca Travato feature Ultraleather swivel cab seats, an available Infotainment Center with Rand McNally RV GPS, MCD blackout roller shades, and Corian galley countertops.

Details

Winnebago Industries, Inc

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc., “The Most Recognized Name In Motor Homes”, is a leading U.S. manufacturer of recreation vehicles, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities.

The Company builds quality motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheel products under the Winnebago, Itasca, Era, SunnyBrook, and Metro brand names.

Winnebago Industries has received the Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association every year since the award’s inception in 1996.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 152, Forest City, IA 50436

Winnebago Era in brilliant silver
Winnebago Era in brilliant silver

Street Address: 605 West Crystal Lake Road, Forest City, IA 50436

Phone: (641) 585-3535

Winnebago Website: www.winnebagoind.com

Itasca Website: goitasca.com

goLife Websitewww.winnebagolife.com

Worth Pondering…

The freedom of travel opens the mind to unlimited possibilities.
—Anon

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Winnebago Introduces 2016 Motorhome & Towable Models

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc. recently introduced the company’s new 2016 motorhome and towable models at Dealer Days held at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2016 Winnebago Adventurer in titanium full-body paint
2016 Winnebago Adventurer in titanium full-body paint

“Winnebago is the ‘Real Deal’, and we’re proud to display the best and most comprehensive lineup in the company’s history,” said Winnebago Vice President of Sales and Product Management Scott Degnan.

“With nearly 500 in attendance we are seeing great response to new and redesigned products from what we consider the best dealer network in the industry.”

The Adventurer and Suncruiser, Winnebago’s flagship Class A gas models, have been totally redesigned inside and out, according to a company news release.

The exterior includes new front and rear molded fiberglass styling, as well as new lights, LED accent lights, aluminum finned grill, and molded “blade-type” wheel trims with chrome accents.

Inside, the excitement continues with new interior upgrades as well with a new contemporary dash, “pull-over” passenger work station with USB and 12-volt ports, new Xite G3 Infotainment system, new tile flooring extending into the cab area, new interior décor, curb view window, and much more, according to the release.

2016 Winnebago Brave  26A Good Vibrations with Cherry Cola Cabinetry
2016 Winnebago Brave 26A Good Vibrations with Cherry Cola Cabinetry

The Adventurer and Suncruiser are a great alternative for consumers who wants the look and functionality of a higher-end diesel, but on a gas platform.

The iconic Winnebago design just became even more “cool” with the addition of the new “Daytona” full-body paint option to the retro-style Brave and Tribute motorhomes. This motorhome line is a great mix of the past and present with three unique Winnebago floor plans, the manufacturer reports.

Winnebago also introduced an all-new Journey and Meridian 38P four-slide floor plan. The 38P features an island wrap-around galley, large pop-up TV with Rest Easy sofa, large picture window on the patio side, and spacious bedroom and bathroom with Winnebago’s largest shower.

This quad-slideout design with its spacious U-shaped galley that takes full advantage of the open feel offered by the frameless dual-pane coach windows.

A new Scorpion premium fifth wheel toy hauler is joining the Winnebago lineup and offers a large 14-foot garage space to haul all your toys.

2016 Winnebago Journey in paprika full-body paint
2016 Winnebago Journey in paprika full-body paint

The garage portion of the Scorpion features a private half bath, sliding glass door, as well as facing sofas with an optional queen bed. The ramp provides a 15-degree clearance for easy entry. When not in use as a ramp, the door becomes a patio with an optional sliding patio railing with retractable steps.

Inside the living area of the unit, the wide body design and radius ceiling provide a spacious interior with features such as a 55-inch TV, a large island with raised breakfast bar, and much more.

Winnebago’s brand licensing partners also had products on display, including two new Winnebago park model RVs, Winnebago RV Covers, and Winnebago Headwear and Apparel.

Details

Winnebago Industries, Inc

winnebago-quality-circle-award-255x144Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc., “The Most Recognized Name In Motor Homes”, is a leading U.S. manufacturer of recreation vehicles, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities.

The Company builds quality motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheel products under the Winnebago, Itasca, Era, SunnyBrook, and Metro brand names.

Winnebago Industries has received the Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association every year since the award’s inception in 1996.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 152, Forest City, IA 50436

Street Address: 605 West Crystal Lake Road, Forest City, IA 50436

Phone: (641) 585-3535

Winnebago Website: www.winnebagoind.com

Itasca Website: goitasca.com

goLife Websitewww.winnebagolife.com

Worth Pondering…

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

—Aristotle

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5 Essentials To Buying an RV

A recreational vehicle is a major purchase that can cost, in some cases, more than a house. As with any major purchase, it is smart to do your homework before you buy to be sure you are getting the best value for your money.

Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pop-up camper and fifth wheel trailer camped at Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When contemplating the purchase of a motorhome or trailer, take your time, do your homework, talk to owners of similar types and brands of campers, attend RV shows, and locate a good reputable dealer who stands behind his products and provides quality service.

There is an RV for every budget and every family. It just takes some time to find it.

The following information is intended to help you navigate the most important aspects of making your dream of owning a recreational vehicle a reality.

  1. Set Goals

Identify your RV needs. Answering the following questions will help you decide which RV is best for you:

  • Are you a weekend warrior, snowbird, or full-timer?
  • How much can you afford to spend including monthly payments and related expenses (fuel, maintenance and service, insurance, license, storage)?
  • What size RV fits your family?
  • Do you prefer a motorized RV or a towable?
  • Which RV features and amenities do you need and which can you live without?
  • When you are not traveling, where will you store your RV?
A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class A Diesel Pusher and Class A Gas motorhomes at A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

One of the first considerations is establishing an RV budget. It’s vital to know how much you can afford to spend on your RV including manageable monthly payments. Also consider related expenses including fuel, insurance, license, maintenance costs, and storage.

Sticking to your goals will help you get exactly what you want and it will also help you avoid purchasing an RV out of your price range. By setting your goals, you can go in knowing what you want and eliminate most RVs that don’t fit your needs.

  1. The Test Drive

A major difference between driving RVs and cars is that they don’t handle the same, especially when cornering. Test-driving is always a good idea to see what kind of RV is manageable for you. The last thing you want to do is get an RV that you can’t drive safely.

Another tip to remember is that once people and all your items are in the RV, weight may become an issue.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park: West Valley Icon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Small travel trailer camping at White Tank Mountain Regional Park Campground, Maricopa County, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Figure on a 20-30 minute test drive in as many traffic, terrains, and road surface conditions as possible. 0-65mph on the test drive, cornering, braking, shifting. Does the steering wheel pull in your hand on different road conditions?

This will be a noticeable pulling to the center or edge of the road. This is an alignment issue and will need to be fixed.

  1. Financing

If you’re like most, you’ll probably be financing a portion of your purchase. Discuss financing with your local bank or other lending institution prior to purchasing an RV to determine your credit limit and assure approval.

Another thing to consider is that because every motorhome most likely has a bed, kitchen, sink, and bathroom, the IRS classifies them as homes. This means that the interest on your loan may be tax deductible as a home mortgage. In Canada, this is not the case.

  1. Maintenance 

Your RV is a valuable investment; however, it can be very costly to repair if it is not properly maintained.

There are two basic types of maintenance for your RV: preventative maintenance and scheduled maintenance. Often these two terms are used interchangeably.

Preventative maintenance is maintenance you perform on your RV before a problem exists and consists of cleaning, inspecting, lubricating, adjusting, and servicing your RV.

Scheduled Maintenance or routine maintenance is performed in intervals normally based on time, mileage, or hours.

  1. Don’t Buy Right Away
Keystone Montana fifth wheel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Keystone Montana fifth wheel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When it comes to researching your new RV purchase, the last thing you want to be is hasty. It is important to take your time while considering your budget, wants and needs, future travel plans, and any other items you feel are important in making your decision, such as safety, quality, and reliability.

One of the most important things you can do when buying is to always shop around. Don’t just buy from your first stop. Look around, compare prices and find the best deal available.

With these tips, you will be successful in your purchase and operation of your new or new to you RV. Enjoy!

Worth Pondering…

Never forget your dreams.

—Corczak

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More April 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced 5 recall notices involving 4 recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—KZRV, Airstream, Thor Motor Coach, and Motor Coach Industries (MCI).

KZRV, L.P.

KZ-logoKZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling certain model year 2015 KZ-RV Gold, Goldrush, Goldrush Klondike, and Prestige, 2014-2015 Goldrush Discovery, 2013-2015 Goldrush Nugget and 2012-2015 Stoneridge recreational vehicles manufactured May 27, 2011, to December 8, 2014. In the affected vehicles, a rivet for the quad entry steps may shear and fail, causing the steps to give when being used.

If the rivet shears causing the quad step to fail, the step user may fall, increasing the risk of personal injury.

KZRV will notify owners, and dealers will replace the defective rivets, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2015. Owners may contact KZRV customer service at 1-800-768-4016.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Airstream, Inc.

Airstream-logo-newAirstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain model year 2015 Interstate motorhomes manufactured from October 6, 2014, through March 25, 2015, and built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. In the affected vehicles, the abutting wedge, a component attached to the door jamb to make opening the door easier after a severe frontal crash, may have been installed incorrectly.

If a vehicle that has an incorrectly installed abutting wedge is involved in a severe frontal crash, a greater force may be necessary to open the doors, increasing the risk of injury.

Mercedes Benz will notify owners on behalf of Airstream, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, correct the abutting wedge installation, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-937-596-6111 or owners may contact Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Customer Service at 1-877-762-8267.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach; North America's Best Selling Motorhome BrandThor Motor Coach (Thor) is recalling certain model year 2015 Siesta and Citation motorhomes manufactured from September 26, 2014, through February 27, 2015, and built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. In the affected vehicles, the abutting wedge, a component attached to the door jamb to make opening the door easier after a severe frontal crash, may have been installed incorrectly.

If a vehicle that has an incorrectly installed abutting wedge is involved in a severe frontal crash, a greater force may be necessary to open the doors, increasing the risk of injury.

Mercedes-Benz will notify owners on behalf of Thor, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, correct the installation of the abutting wedge, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Thor customer service at 1-877-500-1020 or owners may contact Sprinter Customer Service at 1-877-762-8267.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI)

logoMciMotor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain model year 2007-2010 MCI E4500 and J4500 motor coaches manufactured November 21, 2006, to August 27, 2009, and equipped with certain Recaro Automotive Seating Ergo M bus driver seats. The affected seats were manufactured in a way that the tether bar may push into the retractor panel door and potentially interfere with the seat belt locking mechanism.

If the seat belt locking mechanism does not function as intended, the bus driver may not be properly restrained, increasing the risk of personal injury in the event of a crash.

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI)

logoMciMotor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain model year 2014 J4500 and model year 2015 D4000ISTV, D4005, D4500, and D4505 motor coaches manufactured August 26, 2014, to December 3, 2014. The affected motor coaches have front and steerable tag axles whose tie rod nuts may be improperly torqued.

If the tie rod nuts are not properly torqued, the tie rod may not be adequately secured, resulting in a loss of vehicle control and increasing the risk of a crash.

MCI will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the tie rod nut torque, replacing the parts as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on April 15, 2015. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 54th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

—Aristotle

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April 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced 5 recall notices involving 2 recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Forest River and Newmar.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2014 Palomino SolAire trailers manufactured July 1, 2014, to August 31, 2014. The affected vehicles may have been manufactured without an exterior furnace vent causing exhaust fumes to be vented into the trailer. Additionally, the lack of a furnace vent may result in a heat buildup around the furnace.

Exhaust fumes inside the trailer may result in carbon-monoxide poisoning, increasing the risk of occupant injury. A heat buildup, increases the risk of a fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install an exterior furnace vent in any affected trailer that does not have one, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-389-4600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 400-03032015-0016.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Sabre travel trailers and fifth wheels manufactured August 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. The wires that control the brakes may have been improperly routed resulting in the wires chaffing, breaking or shorting.

Damage to the wires that control the brakes may unexpectedly lengthen the distance needed to stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash. Additionally, a short in the wires may increase the risk of a fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the trailers and reroute the brake wires, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on April 6, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-389-4600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 430-03112015-0017.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Coachmen Prism recreational vehicles manufactured from July 1, 2014, through October 14, 2014 and built on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. In the affected vehicles, the abutting wedge, a component attached to the door jamb to make opening the door easier after a severe frontal impact, may have been installed incorrectly.

If a vehicle that has an incorrectly installed abutting wedge is involved in a severe frontal crash, greater force may be necessary to open the doors, increasing the risk of injury.

Sprinter will notify owners, and Sprinter dealers will check the installation of the abutting wedge, correcting it as necessary, free of charge. The recall began in March 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0437. Forest River’s number for this recall is 15V-082.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Georgetown GT335, FR3 FR30, Pursuit 31BD, and 29SB, and 2016 Cardinal CAF3825FL and Tracer TRT270AIR and TRT3200BHT fifth wheel and travel trailers. In the affected vehicles, the screws that attach the expanding room to the sliding mechanism cable may fail allowing the room to extend unintentionally while the vehicle is in motion.

If the room extends while vehicle is in motion, there is an increased risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace the slide room mechanism cable attaching screws, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0437. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-0331201501.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 King Aire, Essex, London Aire, and Mountain Aire motor homes manufactured November 26, 2013, to November 11, 2014. The wiper blades may separate from the wiper arm connectors, especially when the wipers are used at the high speed setting.

If the wiper blades separate from the wiper arms, the driver may have reduced visibility, increasing the risk of a crash.

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 53rd in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

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Still More March 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced 5 recall notices involving 3 recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Forest River, Winnebago Industries, and Tiffin Motorhomes.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 XLR Nitro XLT31FQSL recreational vehicles manufactured July 21, 2014, to January 31, 2015 and configured with a garage in the rear of the trailer and an optional fueling station. If the fueling station nozzle is fully extended and pulled as far forward as possible, the hose may be too close to the fuel burning appliance to prevent the fuel vapors from igniting.

If the vapor from the fueling nozzle is able to reach the fuel burning appliance, there is an increased risk of a vehicle fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will relocate the fueling station box and hose nozzle to a safe distance from the fuel burning appliance, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in March 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0437. Forest River’s number for this recall is 45-02102015.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 XLR Nitro XLT31FQSL recreational vehicles manufactured July 21, 2014, to January 31, 2015 and configured with a garage in the rear of the trailer and an optional fueling station. If the fueling station nozzle is fully extended and pulled as far forward as possible, the hose may be too close to the fuel burning appliance to prevent the fuel vapors from igniting.

If the vapor from the fueling nozzle is able to reach the fuel burning appliance, there is an increased risk of a vehicle fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will relocate the fueling station box and hose nozzle to a safe distance from the fuel burning appliance, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in March 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0437. Forest River’s number for this recall is 45-02102015.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling one model year 2015 XLR Hyperlite XLR31FDK recreational vehicle manufactured September 30, 2014, to November 25, 2015, and equipped with a front deck for carrying motorcycles and quad runners and an optional fueling station. If the fueling station nozzle is fully extended and pulled as far forward as possible, the hose may be too close to the fuel burning appliance to prevent the fuel vapors from igniting.

If the vapors released by fueling a vehicle stored in the trailer is able to reach the flame or heating element of a fuel burning appliance it may ignite, increasing the risk of a fire.

Forest River will notify the owner, and a dealer will remove the fueling station, hose, pump, and nozzle, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in March 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0437. Forest River’s number for this recall is 45-02172015.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Winnebago Industries, Inc.

winnebago-quality-circle-award-255x144Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain model year 2015 Winnebago ERA, View, and Itasca Navion vehicles manufactured September 11, 2014, to February 27, 2015 and built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Chassis. In the affected vehicles, the abutting wedge, a component attached to the door jam to make opening the door easier after a severe frontal impact, may have been installed incorrectly.

If a vehicle that has an incorrectly installed abutting wedge is involved in a severe frontal accident, a greater force may be necessary to open the doors, increasing the risk of injury.

Mercedes-Benz notify owners, and their dealers will check the installation of the abutting wedge, correcting it as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in March 2015. Owners may contact Mercedes-Benz Sprinter customer service at 1-877-762-8267.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc.

TiffinLogo-UnitTiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain model year 2014 Breeze motorhomes. The affected vehicles may be equipped with a steering knuckle that may fracture.

If the steering knuckle fails while the motorhome is being driven, a loss of vehicle control may result, increasing the risk of a crash.

Tiffin will notify owners, and dealer representatives will come to where the motorhome is parked, looking for any steering knuckle in the affected production lot. If the the motorhome has one the the subject steering knuckles, the vehicle will be towed to the dealer and the knuckle will be replaced, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 52nd in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisively.

—Sun Tzu

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Take Control of Your Vacation

Everyone has been there.

Fleetwood Providence Diesel Pusher Class A motorhome  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Fleetwood Providence Diesel Pusher Class A motorhome at Canyon de Chelly, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The thrill and anticipation of a vacation on the horizon, but the dread of security checks, baggage claims, cancelled flights, and adhering to someone else’s schedule. The airline schedule, cruise ship, and bus tours.

But there are alternatives that give you full control of your vacation.

There is a better way. In fact, now is the perfect time to plan unrestricted, adventurous family vacations for the upcoming summer holiday season.

All you need is a recreational vehicle, maps, national campground and RV park directory, and vacation time with your family.

Some benefits to RVing include affordable travel with your family and pets, and the ability to go wherever you want, whenever you want.

It’s fun to plan family trips and make memories along the way.

However, shopping for a recreational vehicle can be overwhelming and choosing the right one is no small decision. Take your time, do your homework, talk to owners of various types and brands of RVs, attend RV shows, and locate a good reputable dealer who stands behind his products and provides quality service.

Class B motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona/Utah  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class B motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona/Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Best of all, there is an RV for just about every budget and every family. It just takes some time to find it. One of the primary aspects involved in selecting a recreational vehicle is making a decision on the type of RV you need. Two primary types should be considered: Towable and motorized.

Towable RVs

Towable RVs must be mounted on or towed by a motorized vehicle to be moved from place to place. Some towables are small and light enough to be towed by the family car, while others require an SUV or pickup truck. Always verify your vehicle’s towing capability and allow for the added weight of personal belongings loaded on board.

Conventional travel trailers offer a wide range of floor plans, sizes, and conveniences.

Fifth wheel trailers have similar amenities as travel trailers, but are constructed with a raised forward section that provides a spacious bi-level floor plan. These models are designed to be towed by a pickup truck equipped with a fifth-wheel hitch.

Also known as pop-ups and tent trailers, folding camping trailers are great for outdoor lovers who enjoy sleeping in a tent without sleeping on the ground. Folding camping trailers stow away for easy, lightweight towing. With canvas sides that extend to reveal queen-sized beds, it’s easy to have a fresh-air experience with all the comforts of an RV.

Keystone Montana fifth wheel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Keystone Montana fifth wheel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Also known as sport utility RVs, toy haulers are for the active family who wants to take motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATVs, or other motorized toys on the road. Available as a fifth wheel or travel trailer, the rear end of the toy hauler drops down, forming a ramp for access into a “garage” area where motorized toys can be safely stored; the living quarters are separated by a wall.

The truck camper is a portable unit designed to be loaded onto, or affixed to, the bed or chassis of a pickup truck. The slide-in units are easily loaded and unloaded from the bed of the truck, freeing the truck’s bumper to tow boats, ATVs, and other trailers.

It is important to match the loaded weight of the towable RV to the towing capacity of the tow vehicle. Consult your dealer or owner’s manual for details and have the tow hitch professionally installed.

Motorized RVs

Commonly known as motorhomes, motorized RVs are on a motorized chassis with gas or diesel engines.

Class A or conventional motorhomes are constructed entirely on a specially designed motor vehicle chassis. Home-like amenities abound, and generally these motorhomes have kitchens, bathrooms, living areas with entertainment centers and centrally controlled heating and air conditioning.

Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Commonly called camper vans, Class B motorhomes are built using automotive manufactured van or panel-truck shells. Camping vans drive more like the family car, but offer the comforts and conveniences of home on the road.

Class C motorhomes are built on an automotive van frame with a wider body section attached to the original cab section. Many Class C motorhomes are easily recognizable by the over-the-cab area that is often an optional sleeping area. Amenities are similar to those in conventional motorhomes.

Many owners choose to tow a small vehicle for short side trips once the motorhome is parked.

Additional Tips

Now that you’ve identified the type of RV that best suits your family, it’s time to shop for the best fitting style, floor plan, price range, and options. The following tips can help for an easier RV shopping experience:

  • Set a price range
  • Think about types of floor plans that work best for you and your family
  • For a towable RV, consider your tow vehicle’s towing capacity; for a motorized RV, consider the pros and cons of gas and diesel engines

Please Note: For an additional resource, read The 4 Most Important Tips For Purchasing a New RV

Worth Pondering…

When your vacation happens on the open road, your trip is only limited by your imagination.

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